Eduardo Uvaldo, killed in Highland Park on the holiday he loved most, remembered as a ‘wonderful grandfather’

The Fourth of July was his favorite holiday. His wife of 50 years and 13-year-old grandson were wounded.

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Eduardo Uvaldo, pictured at a Fourth of July event several years ago.

Eduardo Uvaldo on a Fourth of July several years ago, it was his favorite holiday, he attended the Highland Park Fourth of July parade every year.

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The Fourth of July, the day he was shot, was always Eduardo Uvaldo’s favorite.

Hit by a gunman fire from a rooftop at Highland Park’s Fourth of July parade, Mr. Uvaldo died Wednesday at Evanston Hospital.

“His favorite holiday was Fourth of July, and for him to be taken like that from all of us . . .,” said his grandson Tony Guzman.

Shot in the back of the head, Mr. Uvaldo, 69, had remained on life support until doctors determined there wasn’t anything they could do to save him.

He and his wife Maria had recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

She also was shot, struck in the head and leg by fragments at the parade and was treated at a hospital and released, their grandson said.

Another grandson, Brian Franco Hogan, 13, also was injured.

“My brother has a [bullet] fragment stuck in his arm,” Guzman said. “The doctors said he has to leave it in, or it can do more damage if they pull it out.”

Maria and Eduardo Uvaldo, who recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. She was shot and wounded by the gunman who killed her husband and six others when he fired from a rooftop upon the crowd gathered Monday for Highland Park’s Fourth of July parade.

Maria and Eduardo Uvaldo recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. She was shot and wounded by the gunman who killed her husband and six others when he fired from a rooftop upon the crowd gathered Monday for Highland Park’s Fourth of July parade.

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He said the Uvaldos were with seven other relatives at the parade —two of their daughters and their husbands, two of their grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

“They didn’t realize it was gunshots at first, but, as soon as they realized it was, they all started running,” family friend Jackie Tapia said. “The son-in-law saw him and tried to protect him, shielding him with his body. But he had already been hit.”

Mr. Uvaldo was a strong and loving presence who “basically raised us all,” Guzman said. “He’s like a second father to us.”

The Uvaldos have four daughters, 13 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

“He loved every single one of us,” Guzman said. “He would never treat any of us different…He’s very goofy. He would make us laugh. He would make silly faces. He loved being a grandfather.”

“He was loving, caring and taught his daughters and family to always stay united,” said Tapia. “He was just a wonderful person.”

Eduardo and Maria Uvaldo on their wedding day.

Eduardo and Maria Uvaldo on their wedding day.

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He and his wife grew up in Sabinas Hidalgo in the Mexican state of Nuevo León, according to Guzman. They settled in Highwood before moving to Waukegan 32 years ago.

Mr. Uvaldo, who was retired, worked at jobs including maintenance for Abbott Laboratories. His wife, also retired, worked at Walmart.

Maria Uvaldo “is devastated at the moment, and there is nothing that can calm her down,” Tapia said. “As for her injuries, they’re minor, so she should recover. She’s just overwhelmed now.”

“Family from Mexico and Texas have been showing up,” Guzman said. “We’re trying to make her feel as much love as she can during this time.”

The couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in Paris.

“My grandparents traveled, but it was always in state or Mexico,” Guzman said. “They were just starting to get out of their comfort zone. My grandpa loved it so much. He wanted to go back.”

They’d hoped to travel next to Puerto Rico and Cancun, Mexico.

“He already bought his clothes for Puerto Rico,” Guzman said. “He was ready to start traveling with my grandma.”

Services for Mr. Uvaldo are planned at 10 a.m. Saturday at Memorial Chapel of Waukegan, 1521 Washington St., with burial at Ascension Cemetery near Libertyville.

His granddaughter has started a GoFundMe page to help the family with funeral expenses and assist his widow.

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